[b-hebrew] OT- perspective (was Josiah's book of the Law)

Brian Roberts formoria at carolina.rr.com
Fri Aug 5 12:39:24 EDT 2005

On Friday, August 5, 2005, at 12:29  PM, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:

> On 8/5/05, Harold R. Holmyard III  wrote:
>> Dear Yitzhak,
>>> I was wondering, could you name some specific ANE historical source 
>>> that is
>>> not as complete or as honest as the Bible?
>> HH: I think James is referring to the tendency of pharaohs and
>> Mesopotamian kings to avoid their failures and battle losses in their
>> inscriptions.
> Perhaps.  I mean, without a specific inscription I wouldn't know.
> But, in order to
> name such a specific inscription he has to (1) name one, then (2) to
> show that we
> know that it is not complete, then (3) to show that we know that it is
> not honest, then

So, the assumption here begins with the assumption of honesty on the 
part of Egyptian inscriptions?

> (4) to show that there is a place in the Bible that is more complete 
> than this
> particular source, then (5) to show that that same place in the Bible
> is more honest.

And the assumption here begins that the biblical text is more than 
dishonest? Or more than honest?

> (2) and (3) are tricky, but not as tricky as (4) and (5).
>> HH: The Bible is not primarily a history book. It is a religious
>> book. It mentions historical events as they pertain to the nation's
>> relationship with God. Evidently the battle of Qarqar was not chosen
>> to highlight aspects of that relationship. James probably meant that
>> the Bible was complete in its exposure of its protagonists'
>> weaknesses and failures.
> I don't think one can be so complete about failings without being 
> similarly
> so complete about strengths.  That would be dishonest.  In any case, it 
> is
> not evident that this is why it wasn't chosen.  It is only one 
> possibility,
> which may be accepted dependent on certain theological assumptions.
>> 1Kings 22:39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did,
>> and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built,
>> are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of
>> Israel?
> Where is "and the empire that he fought?"  Besides building an ivory 
> house,
> I don't see any thing that is so different from other kings who didn't
> successfully defend against the Assyrian empire.
>>> Or why does Mesha in the Mesha stele claim he revolted under Omri's 
>>> son?
>>> Does he have some hidden agenda in claiming that?  Is it not possible 
>>> that
>>> the Bible just "slightly corrected" the date of revolt of Mesha so as 
>>> to
>>> "fulfill" the prophecy in 1 Kings 21:28 - 29?
>> HH: Omri was the founder of the dynasty. We all should be familiar
>> with the fact that the term "son" can mean grandson or even more
>> distant kinship links. So a revolt at the time of Ahab's son would
>> fulfill the words of the Mesha stele:
> The Mesha stele says: "Omri the king of Israel, and he tortured Moab 
> many
> days, for Kemosh has despised his country.  And his son replaced him and
> said also, "I shall torture Moab!"  ... And Omri inherited the country
> of Mehedba,
> and resided in it through the rest of his days and through the midst
> of his son's
> days, 40 years."  This doesn't sound like he is speaking of Omri's 
> grandson.
> Yitzhak Sapir
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Best Salaams,

R. Brian Roberts
Amateur Researcher in Biblical Archaeology

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